Lengthy use by the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam of its unregistered marks was not enough, by itself, to raise a triable issue as to the marks’ protectability.

A church that calls itself the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam (the “Unified Church”) failed to show that its asserted trademarks had acquired secondary meaning and therefore could not go forward with infringement claims against a Texas nonprofit with disputed connections to that church, an entity that calls itself Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam – Giao Hoi Phat Giao Viet Nam Thong Nhat (“UBCV Texas”). According to the U.S. Court of Appeals in New Orleans, the only evidence supporting the contention that the unregistered marks had acquired distinctiveness was the length and manner of use of the Unified Church’s asserted marks. This would not be enough, however, for a reasonable jury to find in its favor, given the lack of sufficient evidence regarding sales success, advertising expenditures, and other factors relating to secondary meaning (The Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam v. Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam – Giao Hoi Phat Giao Viet Nam Thong Nhat, December 14, 2020, per curiam)

Case date: 14 December 2020
Case number: No. 19-20544
Court: United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit

A full summary of this case has been published on Kluwer IP Law.


_____________________________

To make sure you do not miss out on regular updates from the Kluwer Trademark Blog, please subscribe here.


Kluwer IP Law

The 2021 Future Ready Lawyer survey showed that 81% of the law firms expect to view technology as an important investment in their future ability to thrive. With Kluwer IP Law you can navigate the increasingly global practice of IP law with specialized, local and cross-border information and tools from every preferred location. Are you, as an IP professional, ready for the future?

Learn how Kluwer IP Law can support you.

Kluwer IP Law
This page as PDF

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *